UK

Coronavirus: Police fines for lockdown breaches fall as measures ease

People relaxing and enjoying the sun at Maenporth Beach on May 30 in Cornwall Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The day when most fines were handed out in the past two weeks was 30 May - when people flocked to beauty spots to enjoy warm weather

More than 17,000 fines for alleged breaches of coronavirus lockdown laws have been issued in England and Wales.

People have been fined by the police for driving with others not from their household, holding house parties, meeting in large groups and camping.

But the number of fines has fallen as restrictions have eased.

There were 523 fines in the two weeks from 26 May to 8 June - compared with 1,171 in the previous two weeks and 4,796 in the fortnight before that.

According to data from the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), the day with the highest number of fines in the past two weeks was Saturday 30 May - when 96 fines were issued in England. That weekend, people flocked to popular beaches and beauty spots to enjoy the warmer weather.

Saturday 30 May was also two days before lockdown measures were eased to allow people in England to meet in groups of up to six, and to allow people in Wales to meet one person from a different household.

Up to 8 June, 15,715 fines, or Fixed Penalty Notices, have been handed out in England and 2,282 in Wales.

But generally far fewer fines have been issued since 13 May, when restrictions began to ease.

Three fines have been given out by London's Metropolitan Police since 25 May, with 1,060 being issued by the force before that.

North Yorkshire Police is the force which has given out the most fines, with 1,082 handed out since lockdown began.

Fines have most often been given to young men aged between 18 and 24, and were more likely to be issued at weekends and during warmer weather.

"Since measures eased in England, the number of fines issued has seen a sustained fall," NPCC chair Martin Hewitt said.

He added that behind each fine was someone who has "failed to listen and do the right thing".

"A fine is issued following engagement to establish the circumstances, explanation of what the regulations are and why they're in breach of them, and encouragement to stop their activity and return home," he said.

The NPCC has not yet released data about how many fines have been paid.

More on this story